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Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! | Album Review

Here’s our thoughts on the epic Flying Lotus album ‘You’re Dead!’ (Spoiler it’s fantastic)!

Instead of trying to follow 2012’s ‘Until The Quiet Comes‘, Flying Lotus’s new album ‘You’re Dead‘ displays another side of Flying Lotus’s music, creating one of the best things you will  hear all year.

‘You’re Dead!’ was initially a more light hearted title. Think along the lines of “Gotcha! You’re dead!“, but as the album grew Flying Lotus realised he has always had a strong relationship with death as he dealt with loss at young age. In particular a close friend who had recently passed lead to him confront his own issues with mortality. The album that looks at the many aspects of death and the human relationship with it. The album is the story of a souls journey into the afterlife.

A high energy ambience all building to the albums first guest appearance. Kendrick Lamar features on ‘Never Catch Me‘ doesn’t feel like a cynical appearance, but proves to be the albums most blatant mission statement. Staccato drums over a subdued piano build to pounding beats, as Kendrick switches flows rapping about existentialism in the same breath your average rapper might brag about being pretty great at drug dealing. Kendrick takes the theme of the entire album and runs with it during his verse. Never downbeat, more contemplative, still the exclamation point in the albums title has a purpose. Flying Lotus’s alter ego Captain Murphy features with Snoop Dogg on ‘Dead Man’s Tetris‘. A 8 bit sounding bouncy instrumental should feel out of place, but doesn’t. It serves as a palate cleanser whilst holding tight to the albums concept. Snoop uses his seductive cali demeanour to eschew his pimpish narratives in favour of a sagely verse discussing his final moments. Captain Murphy and Snoop complement each other perfectly as the song reveals what it’s like to be shot in the head and literally have your mind blown.

The album covers a lot of ground in it’s surprisingly brief 38 minute run time. Taking an idea and exploring it fully without being beholden to pop structures that would run an idea into the ground. The album actually feels like an experience as all the feelings commonly associated with death and the afterlife are here. The abrupt jolt of a sudden death, that might be too sudden for even the deceased to process. The anxiety, and even the eventual peace found on ‘The Protest‘. Every instrument is used no more or less than necessary and doesn’t announce itself. The subtleties of the album come together to create a cohesive sound that somehow perfectly describes the fear and inevitability of death. Flying Lotus has created a winding and rewarding album.

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